W. K. Kim, M. Luskin, D. Perez, A. F. Voter and E. B. Tadmor
Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 63, 94–112 (2014).
The quasicontinuum (QC) method is a spatial multiscale method that extends the length scales accessible to fully atomistic simulations (like molecular dynamics (MD)) by several orders of magnitude. While the recent development of the so-called "hot-QC method" enables dynamic simulations at finite temperature, the times accessible to these simulations remain limited to the sub-microsecond time scale due to the small time step required for stability of the numerical integration. To address this limitation, we develop a novel finite-temperature QC method that can treat much longer time scales by coupling the hot-QC method with hyperdynamics a method for accelerating time in MD simulations. We refer to the new approach as "hyper-QC". As in the original hyperdynamics method, hyper-QC is targeted at dynamical systems that exhibit a separation of time scales between short atomic vibration periods and long waiting times in metastable states. Acceleration is achieved by modifying the hot-QC potential energy to reduce the energy barriers between metastable states in a manner that ensures that the characteristic dynamics of the system are preserved. First, the high accuracy of hot-QC in reproducing rare event kinetics is demonstrated. Then, the hyper-QC methodology is validated by comparing hyper-QC results with those of hot-QC and full MD for a one-dimensional chain of atoms interacting via a Lennard-Jones potential.